Featured Crew

Featured Crew - Maintenance Crew Lead Nick Massey


As a regional airline and United Express partner, we play an important role in connecting people and communities to the world via United Airlines’ global network, but we’re also a critical step in the careers of those working in the airline industry.  Our “Featured Crew” series tells the individual stories of standout members of our team whose hard work makes our organization unique. 

Meet Maintenance Crew Lead, Nick Massey!  Nick is a rising star in the CommuteAir Maintenance Department, and being a passionate racing mechanic and driver in his personal life, he wanted a bigger challenge with even bigger engines and that led him to aviation!  Read on to learn some of Nick’s aviation story…  

How did you become interested in aviation? 

My whole family is full of life-long mechanics. My grandfather is a diesel mechanic, my father was a heavy equipment mechanic and a diesel mechanic…which led to me becoming a mechanic! I rebuilt my first dirt bike when I was thirteen years old, and you could say that was the start of things. After I graduated from High School I went straight into the military and my passion for cars and engines really went to a new level during that period of time. I love working on and racing cars but realized that doing it as my day job was taking away my passion for it and was no longer doing it in my free time.  I started looking outside of racing for my next career move and found aviation. I like that it’s not something that everybody can say that they do. Who gets to say they get to touch turbine engines and work on passenger airplanes…it’s awesome! I like to golf a lot too and you meet a lot of different people at the golf course and they hear that I work on airplanes they’ll usually double-take and say something like, “Thank you so much for keeping us safe in the air” so it’s awesome to get that recognition. 

Describe your journey to becoming an A&P mechanic and Crew Lead.   

One of my first jobs after I got out of the military was in a performance shop working on race cars like Nissan GTR’s and Ford Mustangs…Big, 2,000 horsepower cars. I found myself coming home and not wanting to work on my own racecar, so I wanted to go into an industry that wouldn’t take away from my personal passion. I heard about Spartan and toured their facility. I loved seeing the equipment and putting my hands on the airplanes. The United partners seemed to be the ones who were most involved in the career process and that’s part of what led me to CommuteAir. I remember meeting the CommuteAir Base Manager at a Spartan event when I was still probably six months out from getting my A&P and they still called me back the next day. The interest and passion they showed is what drew me in and it helped carry me upwards during this first year here. It’s another big part of what drew me in into the company. I’m very driven to move up and I feel like there are more opportunities for advancement in non-union shops. I want to be a leader in my career, and I owe a lot of my leadership skills to my military training because it gave me an early start into the subject of leadership; just kind of knowing the structure and how people and teams interact and how to instruct them to perform. Becoming a Crew Lead has been challenging and exciting. 

What advice would you give to future A&P Mechanics? 

Try and find your passion. Your career is something you’re going to be doing for a long time throughout every single day. Your place of work is like your second home, especially in this role where we can work 12-hour shifts! It makes a big difference in your work and happiness when you’re passionate about what you do.  Find a career path that makes you feel just as happy at work as you are at home and love it and take pride in what you do.  

Pictured below: Nick and his team working on his race car